A blog by runners. For runners.

Runner of the Week: Meet Steve Coffey


Where are you located?
Bransgore, near Bournemouth, England

Tell us about yourself
I work for a children’s charity that works to get children out of orphanages and into families. I’m dad to 2 (very soon to be 3) kids. I love football, being outdoors and on/in water, and running

How did you get started running?
I’ve always been reasonably fit but as I got further into my 30s I realised I couldn’t just rely on playing football to keep me fit. And life with kids meant surfing and other activities became much less regular! So I started to run a couple of years ago, just a few laboured miles at a time. I only got a little more serious over the last few months when I decided to set myself a challenge to focus my exercise and to raise money for the charity I work for. I’d seen a tshirt design by a UK clothing company Howies with the slogan ‘Work Hard Run Home’ on it and it struck a chord with me. The next day I measured my drive to work and then devised a plan and route to work a morning in the office and then run home by myself – 34 miles or 55km! At that point (in January) I hadn’t run more than 9 miles in one go but I found a 12 week Ultra Marathon training plan and settled on April 23 as the big day – I couldn’t leave it much later as my third child is due May 12. You can see a short film I made here.

Why did you pick running?
It’s simple and convenient – no expensive equipment required, no specialist knowledge or skills necessary. Just lace up your trainers, head out of the front door.

What’s the best thing about running? What’s the worst thing?
I used to find running pretty boring. To be honest, I still do. But I now live on the edge of the New Forest on the South Coast so I just look at running as a means to an end – to get fit and get out into the world around me and explore

Do you have any advice for a running newbie?
Set yourself a target, set yourself a training plan, and you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve and what that achievement does for other areas of your life. In my limited experience, 90 percent of barriers to this are mindset alone.

Tell us a bit about your training – what does a typical week look like?
I’ve just taken a couple of weeks off running after my Ultra, but managed to play a couple of games of football. I’m starting running again today and will resume my ‘normal’ routine, trying to get out for a three or four mile run twice or three times a week. At least one will be interval training to try and keep my speed up for when I’m playing football. That normal routine will remain until I find my next race/challenge!

Tell us about your running or fitness goals.
I haven’t got anything else planned until a 10 mile race in October – The Great South Run – but I’m keen to sign up for a half or full marathon in the mean time.

Now the whimsical fun stuff:

    • Favorite candy: Not sure if I have a favourite but my pregnant wife loves Dairy Milk chocolate and so I try to help her out whenever I can. You know, just to keep her company…
    • Favorite quote: It’s a bit of a paraphrase, but Alastair Humphreys once said something that inspired me to set challenges and goals and just get on with them: “Think big. Think small. Start small. But do start.”
    • Favorite running song: Big fan of Lighthouse by Mallory Knox, but I found out (by accident!) that Rock Your Body by Justin Timberlake is really good for setting my pace!
    • Favorite cross-training activity: Football or kayaking – not sure if they count?
    • Music or no music (when running): Music – but on longer runs I prefer an audiobook
    • Treadmill, outside, or both: Outside. Always outside. Rain or shine.

Watch Coffey’s short video “Work hard, Run home” – a challenge he took on to raise money for charity.